Ok, so my goal for tomorrow is to clean up our new home a bit so I can take some pictures to show you all. For now I will just give a little insight into apartment living. First of all, it has been over 10 years since I last lived in an apartment, and that was technically college housing so it was a little different than an actual apartment. Darin lived in an apartment for a little over a year after college, so it has been just under 10 years for him. Our first home was a 100+ year old two-family home in Zeeland, not an apartment like many newlyweds live in. Our second home was the one we just moved from-a brand new single family home in Hudsonville. All that to say apartment living is something new to our whole family : )
Overall, I really like it here. It is cozy and our whole family can usually see one another. The computer is in the same room as the TV instead of being upstairs like it was in our old house, and I kind of like that too. The kitchen is small, but I am not a huge cook or baker, so it is ok. The bathroom is huge, which makes its single status a lot easier to handle. Our bedroom is dark and pretty quiet. No more bowling alley pins being knocked down or headlights shining through the window like we had at our old house.
There are some things that are a little annoying. It is HOT in here, and for me to say that really means something because I am usually freezing my hind end off during the winter! At our last house, I would wear two pairs of socks (one wool), long sleeves and a large sweatshirt and I would still be cold. Sometimes I'd have all that on and be huddled under a blanket and I'd find myself wishing I could turn the heat up past the 68 degrees it was set at. Now I am usually sock less and wearing short sleeves. Darin and Jori are both sweating hot. Right now, our heat is set at 60, but it is 72 in our apartment. That is WITH the slider and a window open, so believe me when I say it is hot!
We also have very hot water. We have no control over setting the water temperature, and I am sure if it was set any lower there wouldn't be enough hot water for the 8 apartments that share this building, but I am just praying the kids don't accidentally turn on the hot water faucet! They would get burned. I am also not sure that either of them will be taking showers while we live here. I have already experienced the burning hot water raining down on me and it was not fun. Our complex must also use water softener, which means our water is kind of cloudy and if you are in the shower or bath for too long (which is not long enough for me!) your fingers get all pruny. Yesterday Jori was like "look at my fingers" and sure enough, prune city.
We have a washer and dryer in our building for the 8 units to share. I have done 2 loads of laundry. The washer is super fast. I think it took 15 minutes to do a load. The dryer has three settings to choose from. I have tried 2 of the 3 and my clothes were still a little damp after the dryer shut off. Sadly the 3rd setting is for delicates, so I doubt it will solve my problem! Thankfully everything dried up after laying it on the back of the sofa for a couple hours. I may as well get used to hanging my clothes out to dry before we go to SA!
I miss having a yard. Right now our kids are out, and they actually found some other kids to play with, but I don't actually know where they are right now. Our windows only look out 2 sides of the building, so if they are up front or on the South side of the building, I can't see them at all. We are also surrounded by strangers now, but I try not to think about that too much! Hudsonville is full of good people, right?
I am not a fan of "communal" living, but maybe God will use this to make me more hospitable and aware of others. I like to have the freedom to sing as loud as I want and for the kids to have dance parties and run and jump in the house, but now we have people on 2 sides of us and below us, so we need to be considerate of our new neighbors. My one consolation is that I haven't heard any noise from our neighbors unless both of our kids are in bed and the TV is off. The only really loud thing is the buzzer/doorbell. You can hear it ring even if it isn't in your apartment.
If we had our own yard, control of the water heater and water softener and control over our indoor heating, I think I could easily live in a space this size. I thought it would be horrible, but our little family is doing just fine.